Wow, has breastfeeding been in the news lately! First with Liana’s pool “incident” Liana’s Nurse-In and now Dave Kochi’s comments The Media Fire Storm it has been non stop support and criticism for not only Liana but for all of the other breastfeeding mums out there (who happen to have to feed their babies out in public *gasp* how obscene)!!!!
So why is it so important to advocate for breastfeeding women? Why do I spend so many of my waking moments supporting and advocating breastfeeding rights of the mother and baby? And no, it’s not because I’m bored or insane.
Breastfeeding is a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE. Yes, it sounds dramatic and special doesn’t it? Well it is! Every breastfed being whether they are 3 months old or 3 years old, have the right to breastfeed whenever and wherever they like. Thankfully many countries have laws now (including Queensland, Australia where Liana’s pool excitement happened) which protects a woman’s right to breastfeed. You can be sitting on the edge of a pool (where other non- breastfeeding boobs are half out yet no one says a word) or you can be sitting in the middle of a cafe.
In Queensland breastfeeding is a right not a privilege, according to the law. So what does this mean for breastfeeding mothers? How do we respond if we are approached and told to, “cover up” or “go to the toilet?” A simple, “no thanks we are comfortable here” is sufficient. If you go back to someone with an aggressive comment such as, “why don’t you go eat YOUR dinner in the toilet?!” it just feeds the already big flame coming from the complainer.
We won’t change their minds, all we can do is continue to feed our babies so we can support other women out there who do, or want to do the same.
**There is no need to defend yourself or move to a different area. Not only do you not have to move to a different area but you don’t have to feel bad about it or defend yourself. WHEN YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOUR DECISION (SUCH AS BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC) YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DEFEND YOURSELF TO ANYONE! Just go about your day doing what you do best as a breastfeeding mum…follow the lead of your baby and feed them when they are hungry no matter where you are.**
We do not have to feel embarrassed or disgraced! We do not have to feel humiliated or pressured! In the past I have felt humiliated when I was asked to go to the toilet to feed my middle boy when he was only one week old. I did not know how to stand up for myself. Or when I felt the need in the past to explain why I was still breastfeeding my three year old, or felt as though I had to defend demand feeding or feeding for comfort. Now after years of practise I have let go of those ties that hold me back. I don’t breastfeed as a statement. I breastfeed to meet the needs of my baby. Hunger, comfort, boredom and whatever other reason he might want to breastfeed for at that time.
Who cares about the reason?! He just wants the boob. Not much more to it…
As for all of those negative comments flooding social media, I will not waste my time and energy responding. I will not waste my precious moments (you know those times we need to actually go pee without a baby at our feet or eat without standing up) defending myself to those who have made negative comments about my breastfeeding in public…because I don’t need to defend myself and neither do you!
|My posted pic on Kochis’ Facebook wall|
Just get out there and breastfeed your children. It’s the most powerful way to respond. That’s why I’m so happy Liana organised the nurse-in at Bribie Island pool!! And it won’t give you a brain aneurysm like Facebook will do when reading and responding to negative un-supportive comments (and believe me I definitely got a few of those when I put my breastfeeding pic up on Kochi’s Facebook page).
You may call me a breastfeeding obsessed hippy! You may call me a breastfeeding crazed woman! You may call me a formula hater! I am not any of those things…it’s actually much more boring than that. When my baby is hungry or cranky or bored or tired or happy I’d like to be able to feed him. And I’d like other mums to be able to do the same.
As I’ve mentioned before, and I’ll mention again…breastfeeding at home, in a cafe, at the shops, at the park, in the pool, in the shower, at the cinemas, in front of your grandparents, in swimwear, underwear, boob in boob out blah blah blah…is